Last week I taught a custom webinar for Progressive Executive Education on storytelling for non-profits. We covered a lot of ground from talking about the 5 Cs of storytelling to tips for creating culture of storytelling.
At the end of the webinar we did a question and answer session. Lots of great questions were asked, but one in particular sticks out in my mind.
“Our organization helps infants. Aside from using their parents to tell their story, how else can we tell their success stories?”
This is an excellent question that applies to most non-profits. Telling client success stories or impact stories is a core part of our communication with donors. These types of stories are tangible examples of the work that donors make possible. The concern is that if we constantly tell these stories they can become stale.
Here’s my suggestion: look for other perspectives that can tell the story.
Let’s look at the organization that helps infants. Parents are the most natural storytellers in this instance. They have the closest connection to the infants and are most impacted by the outcome.
Now, when we start to look for perspectives aside from the parents it can be helpful to list all of the possible perspectives. In this example, the organization is a hospital. To determine the possible perspectives for the impact story, I created a mindmap of people who may have been involved with the infant’s case.
As you can see from the image above, there are numerous alternatives to using the parents’ perspective to tell the success story.
If you’d like to see an example of an impact story told from an alternative perspective, I recommend this video from the Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital. I’ve shared it on the blog before, but I think it is a great illustration of what we’re discussing.